POLICE have increased their patrols in Warwickshire as part of an ongoing operation aimed at actively disrupting the criminal use of the county’s roads.
Chief Inspector Adrian Knight said criminals need to travel to commit crime in Warwickshire and further afield.
He said: “We have deployed a team of officers to proactively patrol Warwickshire’s roads to make it as difficult as possible for thieves, burglars, drug dealers and other criminals to operate.
“We are stopping anyone we believe may be linked to crime and want to send a clear message to criminals - Do not travel around Warwickshire and commit crime.”
Officers will be using the latest technology to assist them including vehicles equipped with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology at selected locations at key times throughout the county.
An investment in new ‘mobile data’ technology means that Officers will be able to stay out on patrol longer without the need to return to the station to access information. More vehicles now have ANPR provision, new Mobile ID terminals allow officers to check fingerprints at the roadside, and mobile data terminals allow access to all the force IT.
The team will be using an intelligence led approach to locate, identify and stop anyone believed to be a known active offender.
Officers will also be identifying and seizing any vehicles being driven illegally for example with no insurance as this indicates the driver may be committing other offences too and are a risk to the majority of law abiding road users.
Not only will the owner of an uninsured vehicle have to insure the vehicle before they get it back, but they will have to pay the recovery and storage costs. They can also expect a significant fine for the offence of driving with no insurance.
Every day the team is stopping and checking anyone they believe may be involved in crime and every day arrests are being made. Officers are also visiting the addresses of those believed to be involved in crime to check their whereabouts.
During the first week of the operation, which started in February, officers seized 52 vehicles in Warwickshire under a range of powers. The majority of these were seized for having no insurance.
On average, officers are seizing between eight and ten cars per day for no insurance and driving licence offences.
On 3 February, the team arrested four males on suspicion of a burglary at a farm house in Bentley near Atherstone where the radiators were removed from the property. They have been released on police bail pending further enquiries.
On 7 February the team stopped a suspicious vehicle in Oversley Mill and arrested two men aged 53 and 45 and a 43 year old woman all from the West Midlands on suspicion of possessing a bladed article in a public place. All three were released on police bail pending further enquiries.
On the 9 February officers patrolling the M40 stopped a Toyota near Leamington and arrested a male and female from the West Midlands on suspicion of Class A drugs offences. A subsequent search of their home addresses led to the seizure of a significant quantity of what is believed to be Class A drug Heroin. They have been released on bail pending further enquiries.
Chief Inspector Knight said “We need people to help us make Warwickshire a safer place to live and work by contacting us with information about who they believe is committing crime in their neighbourhood. You can do this by calling the Warwickshire Police Control Room on 01926 415000, new non emergency 101 number, or anonymously by calling the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.